PTI

New Delhi, November 20

“Invest in pigs and grow your money 1.5 times in seven months.” The catchy tagline and the lure of making quick bucks attracted a large number of individuals, including defense personnel, to invest in the scheme.

Three years later and despite multiple FIRs in various states, investors are now running from pillar to post to get their money back.

In the name of pig farming business, people were told that three piglets costing Rs 10,000 will be worth Rs 40,000 in just seven months when they become pigs.

According to one of the FIRs filed with the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police, Mangat Ram Maini, a resident of Firozpur in Punjab, along with his relatives and associates allegedly duped investors to the tune of hundreds of crores. A company named Sure Gain Solutions (SGS) was started by him and people were invited to invest money in the firm.

Investors said he attracted hundreds of people from November 2017 to March 2019, whose individual investments ranged between Rs 10,000 and Rs 2 crore.

“He told us that pigs are in high demand in the northeastern states of India and several countries in Africa. His meat is as expensive as 150 rupees per kilogram. He presented the piglets as golden geese and we all believed him,” said Abhishek Singh, who invested more than Rs 12 lakh in the company.

Singh, born in Patna and working in the national capital with a multinational pharmaceutical company, said he learned about the scheme from a close friend who encouraged him to invest a lot of money for big gains.

According to the scheme, when a person invested Rs.10,000, the company claimed to have bought three piglets with that money. It will then use its own resources to feed them nutritious food for rapid growth. After they grow up in seven months and become pigs, their market price will reach Rs 40,000.

Maini told investors that he would pay them Rs 15,000 for an investment of Rs 10,000 in seven months and keep the remaining Rs 25,000 as operating expenses and profit. The modus operandi was to pay back Rs.500 every week for a period of 30 weeks.

The company also claimed to own four huge pig farms, two in Firozpur and one each in Jind (Haryana) and Bhagar (Rajasthan) with thousands of piglets which the firm’s representatives used to show to investors.

According to the investors, the initially promised amount was returned every week. Maini also insisted on reinvesting the money in the scheme for higher returns.

But when Maini asked for time to return the rest of the money by saying one or the other, the investors lost patience and threatened legal action.

“He closed his office, moved all the piglets to unknown destinations and disappeared,” said Abhishek Singh.

Later, the investors learned that all the farms were leased, contrary to Mainy’s claim that he owned them.

Investors also claim that Maini claimed in his video messages that the company had over 45,000 investors.

“More FIRs have been lodged in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Maini collected over Rs 500 crore from the scheme. Many investors said they even sold their wives’ jewelry to invest because the scheme forced them so much. Singh added.

Anjesh Roy, DCP at EOW of Delhi Police, said that 43 victims approached the police in 2019 and based on their complaint, an FIR was lodged.

“There are five defendants in the case and we managed to arrest one of them who is currently in judicial custody. and fled abroad,” said Roy, adding that a charge sheet has been filed in the case.

Daler Singh, a defense personnel belonging to Gurdaspur (Punjab), claimed to have invested over Rs 6 lakh between December 2018 and March 2019.

“One of my friends in the regiment told me about the scheme and I wanted to know more about it. I even visited the company’s office in Firozpur and did my due diligence by asking the locals. They all gave positive feedback,” he said. adding that he personally saw about 300 pigs in one of the company’s farms.

Another investor Bijay Kumar, who is from Patna and works with the Border Roads Organization (BRO), invested more than Rs 2.5 lakh on the advice of a colleague.

“I initially invested Rs 20,000 in February 2019 and received Rs 1,000 as a refund in my account the very next week. know that the company has closed its operations,” he said.

For many investors, their entire life savings are at stake.

Dharmender Singh, a defense personnel hailing from Mahendragarh in Haryana, invested Rs 25 million between October 2018 and March 2019. “I invested all my life savings on the advice of a colleague. , he said.



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